Lately, my kids are in the habit of asking “What’s the plan for dinner?” almost the minute they get home from school. Perhaps this is because they need time to prepare themselves in case they’re facing a dinner they might not especially like; perhaps this is so they can begin anticipating a dinner they’ll love, thereby extending the positive experience. Or perhaps this is so they can start the process of lobbying for a different option altogether.
Tonight the fam was split 3 to 1 in favor of going out for dinner. (Feel free to assume who the 1 might have been.) I know, I know: most people would be delighted to go out to dinner rather than staying home and puttering around in the kitchen. But I, as you may have guessed, am not Most People. Getting up and going out of the house again after I’ve come home at the end of the work day is not my idea of a good time. Then again, washing dishes after dinner probably isn’t The Hubs’ idea of a good time. And I was not of a mind to argue with people this evening. So, we went out.
And now I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to make the Chicken Pot Pie I’d been dreaming about all day, though I know I’ll have the chance to make it later this week. Or over the weekend. Dinner deferred is not necessarily dinner denied.
If you’re a fan of Chicken Pot Pie, this is a quick recipe that will give you the comfort food you’re craving. Although I’m not ordinarily a fan of pre-made pie crusts, they’re not a bad option for a dish like this; the crackery crust is actually a nice compliment to the creamy filling. (Of course, a homemade crust will kick it up a notch, but that’s your call.) You can use any combination of vegetables you like, but I recommend sticking with the potatoes–they add a bit of starch to the filling and help ensure that its texture remains more like stew than soup.
Chicken Pot Pie
1 box of pre-made pie crust (or enough dough for a double-crust pie)
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or diced, your call
2 cups frozen vegetables, thawed (I like peas and carrots)
1 cup cooked, diced potatoes--thawed, if frozen
1 egg, beaten
1 T. water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour until you've created a smooth paste. Allow this mixture to cook until it's thick and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking continually to keep things smooth. Let this sauce cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until it's thickened to the consistency of gravy. Stir in the chicken, vegetables and potatoes.
Sprinkle one pie crust with flour, then line a deep-dish pie pan with the crust (flour side down). Pour in the filling mixture from the skillet, then cover with the top crust. Crimp the edges tightly. Mix the beaten egg with the water and brush the top crust with this mixture. Cut four or five vents into the top crust with a sharp paring knife, then place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Put the pot pie in the oven for ten minutes; turn the heat down to 350 and bake another 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Allow the pot pie to cool for 15 minutes before scooping it from the pie pan with a large serving spoon.